Dec 24

Kalu Rinpoche | Stages in the Path of Illusion | Lesson 4 (Part 2)

Last time we have reached at 463. That’s where we have reached last time. And now we are entering into the chapter of impermanence.

So, don’t tell yourself, ‘I have seen the meaning of impermanence, and the teaching of impermanence, so many times. And I’m done with it.’ Don’t think like that, you know. Because like I said, just listen, you know. You don’t need to have tears pouring from your side of your cheek. You don’t have to abandon anything. You will still have your husband and your wife and girlfriend and boyfriend. You will still have your job. So, nothing will change by listening little bit of impermanence, you know. So don’t have too much concern about what you may realize and what you might do, all of a sudden. Don’t, don’t worry about that. You won’t. So just relax. Yeah, okay.


And then just before we go into the teaching, you know, the purpose of the teachings of the Lord Buddha, ultimately, is to make us fearless. That is the purpose of the teachings of the Lord Buddha. Not a fearless out of ignorant, but rather a fearless out of clarity and wisdom. In order to develop a wisdom, some people they call it intelligence, some people they call the realization, some people they call it a pure wisdom. In order to obtain these supreme qualities, we must create some sort of a reality, to distance ourselves from the idea of the fixation, a little bit, not too much. You don’t have to force against anything to yourself. If you’re forcing against your will, then you have not realized anything. So, don’t force anything against your will. Try to practice what you feel comfortable with. But any moment that you are practicing, you are generating some sort of a gap from the self-fixation. And that is good. So, as long as we go in that path, you know, positive result will come. And then the wisdom will appear. Realization will come over the time, you know.

So, therefore, our purpose by understanding all of these, is to create fearless. Like an example, you know, there is a distinction where there’s a good practitioner, and so-so practitioner, when they die, especially. So, like, average practitioner will say, ‘ I have my three jewels. And everything is up to them. And my future, my path, my destiny, really falls into their hands, and their hands only. ‘ So that’s the average one. And then if you are really a good practitioner, then when the moment of the death appears, and then you will say that, ‘ I have nothing left to succeed or achieve. I’m good. So, whatever is done, is done. Everything is good. I’m ready to go. I welcome it. ‘ So, like the people who are more advanced practitioner, their perception of the reality is much vaster, you know.

When you have very much self-fixation, in the time of death, then you have so much fear. And then if you’re average practitioner, then you say, make a prayer to Buddha, Dharma Sangha, my destiny, my future, really decides my death. If you’re a more advanced practitioner, then you say, ‘ There’s nothing left to do. There’s nothing left to be done. I’m satisfied. I’m fulfilled in this very moment. I welcome this reality. ‘ So, there’s a sense of fearlessness, out of realization, not out of arrogance or ignorance.

And that was also something, that sort of a mindset will also tend to appear when you do a good retreat. So, you don’t have to wait and see, until the time of death. You know, that sort of mindset will appear in your mind when you’re doing a good retreat or good practice, a fruitful practice. Not just any practice, but rather a fruitful practice. So, when you have this sense of genuine practice continuation, and then due to the result of accumulation of that genuine practice, not just any practice, but genuine practice, by the result of that, you know, you will tend to have some sort of a state of mind, that ‘I have absolutely no regret. Even I leave this body in this very moment, I have absolutely no regret. ‘ And then you are able to live in that experience. You are not thinking with your intellectual. You are able to live with that. Absolute, absent from everything, that sense of clarity and experience. It’s not recognizing the nature of the mind yet. But still, you can develop this kind of very beautiful, liberating mind, you know, a great sensation of liberating, but beyond the idea of womb to liberate, and how to liberate, and none of that headaches, you know. But rather pure experience of liberation, pure experience of true freedom, you know. And then these are the experience that you can succeed, you know. You can achieve this experience. But you are still vulnerable to many confusions, many obstacles.

དོན་ཚན་གཉིས་པ་ནམ་འཆི་ཆ་མེད་བསམ་པ་ནི། འོ་སྐོལ་རྣམས་སྤྱི་ཙམ་དུ་ཚེ་ཐུང་བར་མ་ཟད་ནམ་འཆི་ཆ་མེད་པ་ཡིན།

And then Taranatha is saying that, all of us, our life is not just short, but also everything is uncertain. You know, there’s nothing certain about it.


Means there’s nothing that you can be sure about it. It’s number one.

གལ་ཏེ་སྟེས་དབང་ལེགས་ན་སྔོན་གྱི་ལས་ཀྱིས་འཕངས་པའི་ཚེ་ལོ་དྲུག་ཅུ་བདུན་ཅུ་ཙམ་འཕངས་པ་སྲིད་ཀྱང་། རང་རེ་ལ་ཕལ་དུ་དེ་ཙམ་མེད་དེ་འོང་།

So, those who have accumulated positivity in their past life, might have a chance to live a little bit longer, you know, like 60s, 70s, and so on. But I think, my explanation here, my comment here is that, in order to live long, you need to have less fixation to the mind itself. And then I think the body will last long by itself. But if you don’t have awareness in the mind, you will be always vulnerable, no matter how much you think that you are not vulnerable. So, having some sense of awareness to the body, and the mind, is the key to the longevity, you know. Not as a paranoia person, but rather awareness. It is very important, to care for the body, to care for the mind.

You see, many people, they care so much about how they look. And then they cut from their face, they cut here, they cut here, they cut here, they cut here, you know. And then it looks like American, you know. It’s no longer a human being. There’s so much going on. They cut so many things. I’m not talking about a woman. I’m talking about everybody, man or woman, everybody nowadays, you know. So, even the living is not worth it if you live like that.

And then some people they want to show off so much. They also don’t live their life fully. They are not living a life for themselves. They are living their life for others. That’s also very much not a life, I would say. Because you are living your life for others. Your reality is the perceptions of others and the judgment of others. And that is not truly living. You know.

In order to understand the meaning of impermanence, you also have to understand what is the meaning of living. You cannot say ‘Everything is impermanence, let’s just get a little bit afraid, and get panic, and practice the Dharma, and do nothing, think nothing. ‘ It doesn’t mean that. You have to know, as a human being, what is the meaning of living? Yeah, if you know the understanding of meaning of living, then you understand the meaning of impermanence also, simultaneously.

So, I think that is very important for all of us to keep in mind that, to analyze our life a little bit, time to time. But for some people, their profession is mainly on, you know, like, they have to go to the office, and then they have to wear certain clothes, certain type of clothes, you know. They have to socialize with some people, then they have to wear certain type of clothes, certain type of behavior, certain type of layer of personalities. Then of course, you do all of that, please, enjoy your life. Do whatever you want. That’s what I always say. And do whatever you want. But try to make attempt to make some sort of improvement when you do have a time. Try to make some sort of a distinction, you know.

So, therefore, you know, in order to understand the meaning of uncertainty, you have to understand what is the meaning of certain, certainty. In order to understand the meaning of impermanence, you have to understand the meaning of permanent. You know, if you just simply see it like, ‘Oh everything alive is bound to die ‘, and then in a very despair state of mind, that is not really helping. That is not really renunciation.

Like an example, living is about knowing that we are breathing out, we are breathing in, as living. If we put our mind in that, ‘I am breathing out, and I am breathing in.’ That’s a human being, breathing, using our organs, oxygen. When we stopped breathing, we’re dead. So, no matter how advanced we think we are, when the time of death occurs, nothing really matters.

Okay, so let’s go to the text.

ཡོད་དུ་ཆུག་ཀྱང་ཉི་མ་དེ་རིང་ནས་རྩི་རྒྱུ་མིན། ཕྱེད་ཙམ་སོང་ཟིན་ནམ་ཕལ་ཆེར་སོང་ཟིན། ཡང་གཅིག་ཏུ་ན་སྔོན་གྱི་ལས་ཀྱིས་ཚེ་ལོ་སུམ་བཅུའམ་བཞི་བཅུ་ཙམ་ལས་མ་འཕངས་པ་ཡང་སྲིད། འཆི་བདག་སྒོ་དྲུང་ན་སླེབ་ཚར་བའི་ཚོད་དུ་གདའ། ཚེ་འདིའི་དགྲ་གཉེན་ནོར་རྫས་འཁོར་གཡོག་གྲོགས་པོ། བདེ་སྡུག་གཏམ་གསུམ་འདི་ཀུན་དང་ཡུན་རིང་འགྲོགས་སྐབས་མི་འདུག། ཅིས་ཀྱང་ཅི་བྱེད་སྙམ་པ་དང་། ཇི་སྐད་དུ།

Like an example, you see, in Taranatha’s teaching is saying that, you know, in the time of death, the enemy doesn’t matter. The friend doesn’t matter. The fame doesn’t matter. The wealth doesn’t matter. None of it. It doesn’t matter anymore, in the time of death. You know. Imagine like, right now we say, ‘This is me. This is who I am. This is my passport. This is my identity. This is my home. This is my family. This is my family history. And this is my family heritage. This is my vision. ‘ You know, we have all these ideas. Right? That’s really the good ones. That’s already a good circumstance. And then you have a heart attack, and then you gone. Then all that voice of ‘ I’m this. I’m that. ‘ also gone along with it. Then that’s what the death is.

So, analyzing what truly matters, you know, to reflect to oneself, is very important. Like an example, I’m a Buddhist practitioner, you know, I don’t tell myself, ‘Hey, guess what. I’m going to do this when I’m 70. I’m going to do this when I’m 60.’ You know, I don’t plan that. I say, ‘Okay, everything is good. If I’m bound to die, if it happens, then I accept that in that moment. My protector six-armed Mahakala, Avalokiteshvara, them as my refuge tree, them as my witness. And I’m satisfied with that. ‘ The quality of satisfaction improves over the time as you accumulate the quality of practice. A little bit like a mindset of no suspicion, no doubt, none of that. Pure genuine sense.

བདེ་སྡུག་གཏམ་གསུམ་འདི་ཀུན་དང་ཡུན་རིང་འགྲོགས་སྐབས་མི་འདུག། ཅིས་ཀྱང་ཅི་བྱེད་སྙམ་པ་དང་། ཇི་སྐད་དུ། ས་དང་ལྷུན་པོ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་ཉི་མ་བདུན། འབར་བས་བསྲེགས་པའི་ལུས་ཅན་འདི་དག་ཀུན། ཐལ་བ་ཡང་ནི་ལུས་པར་མི་འགྱུར་ན། ཤིན་ཏུ་ཉམ་ཆུང་མི་ལྟ་སྨོས་ཅི་འཚལ།

Like an example, the earth, as we can see, it is constantly changing. Sea is constantly changing. The weather. The element everything is constantly changing. And we don’t need to speak too much about ourselves as a human being.

ཅེས་པ་ལྟར་ལུས་ཤ་ཁྲག་རྣག་གི་ཕུང་པོ་འདི་ནི་ཉམ་རེ་ཆུང་། དབུགས་མི་བརྟན་སྟོན་ཀའི་ན་བུན་བཞིན་དུ་ནམ་ཡང་འགྲོ་ཆ་མེད༑ སེམས་ལ་རང་དབང་མ་ཐོབ།

So, now I was reading this text, you know, before we started this session.


It means we do not have a liberation of our own consciousness.

སེམས་ means consciousness. རང་དབང་། means liberation. ཐོབ། means got it. མ་ཐོབ། means didn’t got it. So, we haven’t got a liberation of our consciousness.

So, I was thinking about that. And, you know, like I said before, if you have awareness to the body, and the mind, and then even there may be a lot of obstacles, you know, you may be able to overcome more easily. You know, there’re obstacles of spirit. There’re obstacles of human. And then there’re obstacles or health. So, the less fixation there is, the less resistant there will be, you know, from the opposition.

Like an example, like Buddha Shakyamuni, you know, in the time of liberation, the next day he was going to be enlightened. But that night, he was surrounded with many different illusions of the Maras, and then also many, many, many delicate and beautiful objects as well, to lose his mind or to be distracted. But yet, he overcome all of that, not by resisting, not by fighting back, but rather based on non-violent, and then also non-action, and pure state of clarity. And then you liberate yourself. The more you play the games of the Samsara, the more you stay with it. The less games you play with the Samsara, there’s less to do about it. The less you do about it, the less to think about it, the more space in your mind to meditate, you know.


So, therefore, I’m coming to the conclusion that, over the time, there is absolutely no depth beyond your perception. And understanding coming to the conclusion that, there’re so many things that you’ve tried to analyze as the ultimate solution, but every solution tend to be without any depth, you know, without any profound meaning, you understand? So, there seems to be a lot of solution. But when you analyze all the solutions that we see it, truly, as a human being, there seems to be a lack of profound meaningful impact. So, when you understand that, then you come to the conclusion that everything is very much uncertain. And the death can come anytime. And it’s a possibility. You know. So, having that kind of a joyful perception is very important. Not like in a very sad and upset perception. But rather, ‘Ah. That’s what it is. Okay. I see. I understand.’ And meditate a little bit on that thought.

ཇི་སྐད་དུ། དེ་རིང་ཁོ་ན་མི་འཆི་ཞེས། བདེ་བར་འདུག་པ་རིགས་མ་ཡིན། བདག་ནི་མེད་པར་འགྱུར་བའི་དུས། དེ་ནི་གདོན་མི་ཟ་བ་འབྱུང་། ཅེས་པ་ལྟར་བསྒོམ་པ་དང་། ཀླུ་སྒྲུབ་ཀྱི་ཞལ་ནས། འཆི་བའི་རྐྱེན་ནི་མང་བ་སྟེ། གསོན་པ་ཡི་ནི་ཅུང་ཟད་གཅིག། དེ་དག་ཉིད་ཀྱང་འཆི་བའི་རྐྱེན༑ དེ་བས་རྟག་ཏུ་ཆོས་མཛོད་ཅིག།

So Nagarjuna, Nagarjuna said, ཀླུ་སྒྲུབ་ means, Nagarjuna.


There’s so many possibilities of death or obstacles towards the death, you know, that leads towards the death.


And then there’s very rare of rebirth, or birth, or absent or death or absent of obstacles, let’s put it like this. Even there’s some sort of possibility of short-term liberation or short-term happiness, but that also is bound to change, bound to be death, or bound to end, or bound to be uncertainty and so on.

དེ་དག་ཉིད་ཀྱང་འཆི་བའི་རྐྱེན༑ དེ་བས་རྟག་ཏུ་ཆོས་མཛོད་ཅིག།

So therefore, with that understanding in that conclusion, you practice Dharma. You practice truth. You do not practice religion. You practice truth. That is the distinction. If you practice religion, then you do not question anything, you just believe, believe, believe, believe. You practice truth, you practice Buddhism, you question everything, you know, and you practice the truth with an unbiased approach. That is Buddhism.

དེ་བས་རྟག་ཏུ་ཆོས་མཛོད་ཅིག། ཅེས་གསུངས་པ་ལྟར། ཕྱིའི་རྐྱེན་མི་དང་དུད་འགྲོ་དང་གདོན་ལ་སོགས་པ་སེམས་ཅན་དུ་གཏོགས་པ་དང་གཡང་ས་དང་མེ་ཆུ་ལ་སོགས་པ་སྣོད་དང་འབྱུང་བར་གཏོགས་པ་ནང་ལུས་ལ་ནད་རིགས་བཞི་བརྒྱ་རྩ་བཞི་ལ་སོགས་པ་

So, even as a human being, you know, our own human form has so much bacteria. Let’s put it like this. So much virus and bacteria within our own body. And that is, resistant to any external bacteria and virus. But then over the time, the very thing that is making you survive also can cause a trouble in the long run with the deficiency. I mean, when you think about it, it’s not really that beautiful.

When we think, we think that what I wear, what I eat, how I lived my life, that’s a good life. We think that we can predict from that moment on, you know. If we have a control of our rent, if we have a control of our home, family, job, large amount of money, everything, we think that we can control everything of our life, our future and so on, which is true. I do not deny that, which is true. But there’s no guarantee you know. Uncertainty happens all the time. But instead of being fearful, we have to shift that mindset into the Dharma, into the practice of truth.

ནད་རིགས་བཞི་བརྒྱ་རྩ་བཞི་ལ་སོགས་པ་མདོར་ན་འཆི་རྐྱེན་ལ་འདིས་མི་བྱེད་བྱ་བ་མེད། མི་འཆི་བ་འཚོ་བའི་རྐྱེན་དུ་འདོད་པ་ཟས་གོས་གནས་མལ་སྨན་ལ་སོགས་པ་ཡིན་ན། ཁ་ཟས་མ་འཕྲོད་པ།

Like an example, when you eat something, getting a food poison. Such as like that. Such as eating the wrong medicine. Also, you know, having a consequence of that. We experienced that a lot, especially in the modern world, you know, where the medicine becomes more and more business rather than the individual benefit. So, like an example, before is like the physician engaging one after one, individual after another. Even the tools are not advanced, the engagement is very much advanced and very personal. And nowadays it becomes more and more business, rather than engagement to the person. And the religion is also becoming like that. That is also another problem. You know.

Buddhism is also becoming like that, similar to the pharmacy company. Feed everyone the same. There’s no personal link anymore, you know. So, like, feed everybody the same. Give one thing. Make sure that they’re satisfied with that. Don’t give anything more, or too much secret, or too much special, they will ruin it, or something like that. So, we have to be careful. And you have a responsibility as a practitioner, you know. Even one individual makes the different movement with a spirituality, it makes a bigger change over the time. If nobody makes a move, then nothing ever happens anyway. Whatever the different issues we might be facing.

The reason why I say this, is because I am very disappointed, I get really upset, when I hear people say to me, ‘I am doing my Ngondro practice. And I need to finish 100,000 of this, and 100,000 of that. ‘ They specify that enlightenment is about reaching to a certain of numbers. That is a big problem in our society. And then, when you transform that spirituality also based on the numbers, how much you have accumulated and based upon that, you obtain a higher happiness, which is the same trap. And so, we have to avoid that habit, and rather practice genuinely, with a sense of awareness, mindful, with our body, and the mind, and the speech along with it. Like all the great masters in the past, the way they said it. I’m not adding anything new.

སྨན་ལོག་པ་སོགས་འཚོ་བའི་རྐྱེན་དེ་ཀུན་ཡང་ནམ་ཞིག་ན་འཆི་རྐྱེན་དུ་འགྱུར་ཏེ། ལུས་སྲོག་ལ་རྒོལ་བའི་རྐྱེན་ངན་བུ་ཡུག་འཚུབས་པ་ལྟ་བུའི་དབུས་ན་བདག་གནས་པ་ཡིན་ན། ནམ་འཆི་ཆ་མེད་སྙམ་དུ་བསྒོམ༑ དམིགས་སྐོར་དྲུག་པའོ།།

So that’s the sixth cycle. Like an example, thinking of all the different possibilities that can lead to the unfortunate state of death, or sickness, or any sort of.

དོན་ཚན་གསུམ་པ་ལ་འཆི་བ་ལ་ཆོས་མ་ཡིན་པ་ཅིས་ཀྱང་མི་ཕན་པར་བསམ་པ་ནི། ཇི་སྐད་དུ། ཞི་བ་ལྷས། གཤིན་རྗེའི་སྐྱེས་བུས་ཟིན་པ་ལ༑ གཉེན་གྱིས་ཅི་ཕན་བཤེས་ཅི་ཕན། ཅེས་པ་ལྟར་འཆི་བའི་དུས་ན་ནོར་རྫས་མང་ཡང་ཏིལ་འབྲུ་ཙམ་ཡང་ཁྱེར་དབང་མེད། གཉེན་གྲོགས་གཡོག་འཁོར་རྗེ་དཔོན་སོགས་རྩ་འཇིང་ཆེ་ཡང་བྲན་གྱི་ཐ་མ་ཁྱེའུ་གཅིག་ཙམ་ཞིག་རང་ལ་ཁྲིད་དབང་ཡང་མེད་ཁོ་ལ་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲང་ཡང་མེད༑ འདི་ཐམས་ཅད་བྱེ་བྲལ་བྱེད་པའི་ཆོས་ཉིད་ཡིན་ཅིས་ཀྱང་ཕན་པ་མེད་སྙམ་སྐྱུག་ལོག་གེ་བ་བསྒོམ། དགྲ་གཉེན་བདེ་སྡུག་གཏམ་བཟང་ངན་ཐམས་ཅད་ལ་དེ་བཞིན་དུ་སྦྱར། འོ་ན་འདི་དག་རྗེས་སུ་མི་འབྲང་ན་སུ་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲང་སྙམ་ན།

So, like an example, the second chapter is about, of the meaning of impermanence. The second chapter of impermanence is to remind ourselves that, when the death occurs, nothing actually matters. You know, no matter how many friends, or families, or allies and so on. And just like that, when you have that more capacity of understanding, and then you go towards the enemy, you know, that understanding. First you think about the family and friends and so on. And then you go towards the enemy, you know, in your mind.

འདི་ཐམས་ཅད་བྱེ་བྲལ་བྱེད་པའི་ཆོས་ཉིད་ཡིན་ཅིས་ཀྱང་ཕན་པ་མེད་སྙམ་སྐྱུག་ལོག་གེ་བ་བསྒོམ། དགྲ་གཉེན་བདེ་སྡུག་གཏམ་བཟང་ངན་ཐམས་ཅད་ལ་དེ་བཞིན་དུ་སྦྱར།

Like an example, when you think about good news, also, none of that matters. When you think about bad news, nothing really actually matters. You know, so, thinking about all the impermanence. Like an example, you look at the countries around the world nowadays. 40 years ago, they were fighting each other, and brainwashing their own civilian, saying that, ‘That is the enemy. There’s no other enemy than that. ‘ And then again, 40 years later, 50 years later, 70 years later, they become friends and families and relatives, crossing the borders and something like that. So, you reflect that as a part of impermanence. There’s a progress in everything. And then there’s also a lack of progress in everything. So, you also reflect that. That is also impermanent, impermanent, you know.

འོ་ན་འདི་དག་རྗེས་སུ་མི་འབྲང་ན་སུ་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲང་སྙམ་ན། རང་གིས་བསགས་པའི་ལས་དགེ་སྡིག་གཉིས་པོ་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲང་། སྡིག་པ་བྱས་ཟིན་པ་དེ་ཡང་ཤུལ་དུ་བཞག་ཐབས་མེད་རྟག་ཏུ་གནོད་པ་ཡིན། དགེ་བ་གང་བསགས་པ་དེས་ཀྱང་བདག་ལ་ཕན་པ་ཡིན་ཤུལ་དུ་མི་ལུས། ཆོས་ལྡན་རབ་འབྱོར་གྱི་ཞལ་ནས་ཀྱང་། དགེ་དང་སྡིག་པ་མ་གཏོགས་པ༑ འགྲོ་བ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཕྱིར་ལྡོག་ནས། འགའ་ཡང་ཁྱོད་རྗེས་མི་འབྲང་བར༑ མཁྱེན་པར་གྱིས་ལ་ལེགས་པར་དཔྱོད། ཅེས་གསུངས་པ་ལྟར་བསམ་པ་དང་། དེ་ལྟར་ན་ངེས་པར་འཆི། མྱུར་དུ་འཆི། ནམ་འཆི་ཆ་མེད༑

So, it’s saying that, if you have a tendency, even in your mind, even after thinking all of the things, if you still have a tendency, saying that, ‘Em, I think I can still go on a bit like that. I can still have some sort of a justification and so on. ‘ If you do have that kind of desire coming up in your mind, and then just tell yourself,


It means, only the virtuous and non-virtuous qualities of mind is something that it will follow along with you, for your next life. Let’s put it like this. You can call it a good karma, or bad karma, or virtuous action, or non-virtuous.

འགྲོ་བ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཕྱིར་ལྡོག་ནས། འགའ་ཡང་ཁྱོད་རྗེས་མི་འབྲང་བར༑ མཁྱེན་པར་གྱིས་ལ་ལེགས་པར་དཔྱོད།

So therefore, understanding that, only these things matters, in the beginning. And then over the time, of course, there will be more profound methods of practice, and way of practicing anyway. And then, ultimately, you know, finally at the end, thinking that,

དེ་ལྟར་ན་ངེས་པར་འཆི། མྱུར་དུ་འཆི། ནམ་འཆི་ཆ་མེད༑

The death is something that is a possibility. And it may come very fast. And it is very uncertain. Whenever it comes, it comes. So, there’s nothing you can do about it.

འཆི་བ་ལ་གཞན་ཅིས་ཀྱང་མི་ཕན། འཆི་ཁ་ཕན་ཆད་སྐྱེ་བ་མཐའ་མེད་དུ་ཕན་ནུས་པ་ནི་དམ་པའི་ཆོས་ཁོ་ན་ཡིན་ན། ད་ལྟ་ཉིད་དུ་ཆོས་ལ་འབད་པར་བྱའོ་སྙམ་དུ་བསྒོམ།

And so therefore, it is only the Dharma that can help me in the time of death. So therefore, I shall really engage myself in the path of Dharma, and so on. So, having that sort of mindset. So I think here is the point where I want to put some sort of comment from my side. When people think about the Dharma, or when they think about the practice, they think about visualization of the deity, having a tantric practice, yoga practice, and Dream Yoga practice. And they create a lot of illusion about so many different types of practice.

And the practice is very simple. The purpose of the practice is very simple. And the practice should be very simple. Because the purpose of the practice is to block or break away from the cycle of illusion. So, if you’re unable to minimize the sensation, the sensory level of the world, you know, keeping things in cycle, if you could not minimize that, and of course, you cannot minimize the impact of the negativities either. So, having some sort of awareness to the mind, reflecting, and understanding the reality of the suffering, the reality of the impermanence and of the death, and so on. Time to time, gently reminding yourself is very important.

ད་ལྟ་ཉིད་དུ་ཆོས་ལ་འབད་པར་བྱའོ་སྙམ་དུ་བསྒོམ། དམིགས་སྐོར་བདུན་པའོ།།

So that’s the seventh cycle.

ད་ནི་འཆི་བ་མི་རྟག་པའི་ཐོན་ཆོས་འདི་བསྒོམ་སྟེ། འདི་ལ་རྩ་བའི་ཚིག་ལྔ་ཞེས་བྱ། དང་པོ་མི་སྡོད་འགྱུར་པ་བསམ། གཞན་དག་ཤི་བ་མང་དུ་བསམ༑ འཆི་རྐྱེན་མང་པོ་ཡང་ཡང་བསམ། འཆི་ཁར་ཇི་ལྟར་འགྱུར་སྙམ་བསྒོམ། ཤི་ནས་ཇི་ལྟར་འགྱུར་བ་བསམ། བྱ་བ་ཡིན་ཏེ་རང་རེ་སྐྱེས་ནས་མ་ཤིའི་བར་དུ་ཡང་ཕུང་པོའི་རྒྱུན་འདི་རྟག་ཏུ་འགྱུར་ཞིང་འགྲོ་བདག་དང་པོ་བུ་ཆུང་གི་དུས་ན་དེ་འདྲ། བྱིས་པའི་དུས་ན་དེ་འདྲ། ལང་ཚོ་ཙ་ན་དེ་འདྲ། ད་ནི་འདི་འདྲ་སྙམ་པ་དང་། འཆི་བ་ལ་ཇེ་ཉེ་ཇེ་ཉེར་འགྲོ་བ་དེར་འདུག།

So, now here comes some different practical methods. It’s saying that, there are five words to think about impermanence. So, if you cannot understand everything about impermanence, then just keep the five words. Let’s put it like this.


The five words.


First, you think about a reality circumstance that is going against your desire.


And then, you reflect to yourself about other sentient beings, who are passing away, passing away, passing away.

And then, the third is the possibility of death of all the sentient beings from so many circumstances, again and again, again and again.

And then also, the fourth one is,


What will happen in the time of death. And what will change and so on.


So, once there is a death occurred, what will happen after that? What will happen after that? What does it really happen after that?


So, like an example,

བདག་དང་པོ་བུ་ཆུང་གི་དུས་ན་དེ་འདྲ། བྱིས་པའི་དུས་ན་དེ་འདྲ། ལང་ཚོ་ཙ་ན་དེ་འདྲ། ད་ནི་འདི་འདྲ་སྙམ་པ་དང་། འཆི་བ་ལ་ཇེ་ཉེ་ཇེ་ཉེར་འགྲོ་བ་དེར་འདུག།

When I was a child, I was like that. When I was a kid, I was like that. When I was teenager, I was like that. Now currently, I’m like this. And I’m walking towards the death, day by day, getting closer and closer. I have a very good example of impermanence. My hair. That reminds me the impermanence. Before, I had hair over here. Then it goes up, up, up, up. One day, somebody took a picture from my back. And then I thought ‘Wow, who is this guy?’ And then, I realized it was myself. That was enough for impermanence for me.

Because no matter how happy you are, no matter how sad you are, the time continues. You don’t have a control, like a stop in a movie. And that continues until the death. And then, there continues in the life in between. Then that continues to the next cycle of life.


So, therefore, nothing will truly benefit me. Nothing will truly benefit me other than the Dharma. So, reflecting that into your mind, again and again, a little bit. Meditating.

རང་རེས་དྲན་ནས་ད་ལྟ་ཡན་ཆད་ལ་ཡུལ་འདི་ན་མི་འདི་འདྲ་ཞིག་ཡོད་པ་ཡང་ཤི་འདུག། དེ་ན་དེ་འདྲ་ཞིག་ཡོད་པ་ཡང་ཤི་འདུག་སྙམ་དུ་རེ་རེ་ནས་ཞིབ་ཏུ་བགྲང་།

For example, in my village, in my city, there was one person over there that also passed away. A few weeks ago, my neighbor was there. He or she also passed away. You know, reflecting the fragileness of the human being.

Like an example, I think this pandemic really give us a little bit of impermanence also. We say that everybody has to get vaccinated. Of course, I get vaccinated. I’m not anti-vaccine or anything, just to be clear. Because sometimes the religious group, they’re quite strong. Like, ‘Oh, I don’t do any of this stuff, and things like that.’ Yeah, I do my vaccination and all that.

But then again, there’s an illusion of that, a little bit like, the death will never come. But that’s the illusion. Yes, you will be protected from certain type of virus and so on. But, it doesn’t give you the immortality. It doesn’t make you the immortal being. Yeah, it gives you a protection, of course, a physical protection, sense of immunity, immunizing your body. Absolutely. But then, again, when we inflate our ego so much, and then it becomes a little bit like, ‘ Oh, yeah, it should protect you from any type of death.’ A little bit like, the death never comes. People, when they take an injection, and they take a shot, and then they think, ‘Oh, no, the death is so far away, whatever happened.’ But that doesn’t guarantee anything.

So, the death is bound to come, whether you take 100 shots, whether you take two shots, three shots. It doesn’t matter. The death, the natural death is bound to come. So that’s another layer of illusion. That’s another lie, that we tell ourselves. Taking a proper medical care is good. It’s necessary. And but then again, inflating your own ego more than what is needed, is also the lie, which is against understanding of the meaning of impermanence.

རང་བས་རྒན་པ་ཡང་ཇི་ཙམ་ཞིག་ཤི་འདུག། མཉམ་པ་དང་གཞོན་པ་ཡང་ཇི་ཙམ་ཞིག་ཤི་འདུག་བསམ་ན། ད་ལྟ་ཡོད་པ་བས་ཤི་བ་མང་། དེ་དག་ཀྱང་ཚེ་ཚད་དུ་ཐུབ་ནས་ཤི་བ་ཙམ་ཆེར་མི་འདུག། ཕལ་ཆེར་དུས་མིན་བར་མ་དོར་ཤི། བདག་ཀྱང་དེ་ལྟ་བུའི་ཆོས་ཉིད་ཡིན།

So therefore, myself, also. I’m vulnerable. I’m fragile. Just like any other neighbors, and the villagers in the town, that the friends, and families and relatives that I’ve witnessed their death. And I’m also a human being. I’m nothing different from them. So, there’s a distinction between where you say, ‘Yeah, I know everybody dies anyway at the end of the day. ‘ Not like that. But rather, really, ‘The death is always next to us. And that is a reality. And I accept that. And I see that. ‘ And meditating with that state of mind.

Not like, ‘ I know the death is eventually there.‘ Not like that. Not like Amazon packets, ‘ Oh, I just get it done, and send it to the shipment. ‘ Not like that. But rather, like very precisely, gently, with your clear mind, you say, ‘ Everything is dying, changing. Young is getting old. And then, even the young, they die very quickly. Everywhere around the world, it doesn’t stop. I’m also like that. I’m also human being. I must remind myself with the meaning of death, the meaning of impermanence. That is true. ‘ And then we hold on to that thought. And then you meditate a few seconds, like that. Not like, not a quick summary.

དེ་ལྟ་བུའི་རང་བཞིན་ལས་མ་འདས༑ སྔར་དེ་དག་གི་གསེབ་ཏུ་མ་སོང་བ་ཁར་རྗེ་ཆེ། མ་ཤི་གོང་དུ་ཆོས་གཤའ་མ་ཞིག་མི་བྱེད་པའི་ཐབས་མེད་སྙམ་དུ་བསམ། གཞན་མི་དང་དུད་འགྲོ་ཤི་བ་ཐོས་སམ། མཐོང་ངམ། བྱིས་པ་ནས་རྒན་པོའི་བར་དུ་ལང་ཚོ་འགྱུར་བ་མཐོང་ངམ། མ་ཤི་བ་ཉིད་ལ་ཡང་ཁ་དྲག་པོ་ཁ་ཞན་པོར་སོང་བ།

So basically, what I just explained to you right now, is explaining again.

ཞན་པོ་དྲག་པོར་སོང་བ་དང་། ཕྱུག་པ་སྤྲང་པོར་སོང་བ་སོགས་

For example, poor getting rich, rich getting poor, and all of that.

གང་མཐོང་གང་ཐོས་ཀྱང་མི་རྟག་པ་ལྷང་གིས་དྲན་ཏེ། བདག་གམ་བདག་གི་ཕྱོགས་དང་། བདག་གི་ལོངས་སྤྱོད་སོགས་ཀྱང་འདི་ལྟ་བུའི་རང་བཞིན་ཡིན། འདི་ལྟ་བུའི་ཆོས་ཉིད་ཡིན་སྙམ་དུ་བསམ༑ དེ་ནས་གོང་བཞིན་འཆི་བའི་རྐྱེན་མང་བ་བསམ་སྟེ། རང་གི་གདོང་དུ་བྱུང་བའི་དངོས་པོ་ཐམས་ཅད་ལ་འདི་ཀུན་གྱིས་ཀྱང་བདག་འཆི་བའི་རྐྱེན་ཇི་ལྟར་བྱེད་མི་ཤེས། ད་ལྟ་རང་དུ་ཡང་ཇི་ལྟར་འགྱུར་མི་ཤེས་སྙན་དུ་བསམ། འཆི་བའི་ཚེ་མི་དགེ་བའི་སེམས་ཀྱིས་འཆི་བ་ན་ནི་གནད་གཅོད་ཀྱི་ལས་ལ་སོགས་པ་སྡུག་བསྔལ་འཇིགས་སུ་རུང་བ་ཡོད། འཆི་བ་དེ་འདོད་བཞིན་དགའ་བཞིན་དུ་ཡོང་བ་མིན། མི་འདོད་བཞིན་དུ་ཐོག་ཏུ་འབབ་པ་ཡིན།

Nobody welcomes the death willingly. Death comes into their life unpleasantly. And we are very uncertain about it. It can come anytime. Therefore, only Dharma and the practice of truth can liberate that suffering.


Nobody welcomes the death joyfully. Unless we are the terrorists. Yeah, unless you’re mentally broken, something wrong with your head, like killing others, and killing yourself. Whichever the religion, maybe doesn’t matter which religion, just extremist ideology, and that kind of fundamentalist in that kind of people. They are just crazy people. That’s nothing to do with Buddhism.

སྡུག་བསྔལ་ཤུགས་དྲག་པོ་དང་བཅས་ཏེ་འཆི་བ་ཡིན། འཇིག་རྟེན་ཕ་རོལ་ཆུ་རྒྱུས་ཡོད་ནས་མ་ཡིན། ཆ་མེད་ཀྱི་ཡུལ་དུ་རྒྱུས་མེད་འཁྱམས་པ་ཡིན་སྙམ་པ་དང་། བདག་ཤི་ཟིན་པའི་གནས་སྐབས་ན། ལུས་སེམས་གཉིས་ནི་བྱེ་བྲལ་དུ་སོང་།

So now here comes the more detail. So, in a time of death.


The body and the consciousness separates, or splits.

ལུས་འདི་ནི་ཡང་ན་ས་ལ་སྐུངས་ནས་སྲིན་བུའི་ཕུང་པོ་གཅིག་གམ། ཡང་ན་ཆུ་ལ་སྐྱུར་ན་ཉ་སྲམ་གྱི་ཟས་གཅིག་གམ༑ མེ་ལ་བསྲེགས་ནས་རུས་པ་སྤར་གང་ངམ།

For example, when your body splits from the consciousness, and the body separates. And then, some people cremate your body. Or they may just put it on the river, such as Ganga River, where your corpse will be eaten by fish, and then, cremation.


Or feeding to the birds, like the classic Tibetan style. Feeding to the birds and doing the Cho practice and so on.


And eventually, there’s nothing left. Eventually that has nothing left. You know, the Egyptian mummified, they preserved the body in the highest quality. And yet it doesn’t preserve anything. It dissolves into the soil.

ད་ལྟ་གཅེས་གཅེས་མོར་བྱས་པའི་ལུས་ཀྱི་ཐ་མ་ནི་དེ་འདྲ། སེམས་ནི་ལས་ཀྱི་ཁུར་ཐོགས་ནས་གར་སྐྱེ་ངེས་པ་མེད་པའི་གནས་སུ་འགྲོ་དགོས་ན། ད་ལྟ་ཆོས་མི་བྱེད་པའི་ཐབས་རང་འདུག་གམ།

For example. Our state of the consciousness is molded, and covered with all this ignorance, and the illusion, and all the suffering. And we have no control. And when our body has some sort of existence, if we don’t utilize this opportunity, when our body is lost, mind will be completely lost at that time. And it’s already too late.

In the life between, the bardo state, I have been explaining many times before. But I will explain to some of you again.

The life in bardo, is exactly the reality of the dream. Whatever illusion you have in your mind, that illusion becomes a reality. And, not understanding that the very projection of your mind created that reality, not understanding that, and then having a lot of fear in the state of the dream. And then when you wake up, and then you tell yourself, ‘ Oh, I had a terrible dream. ‘ You know. So, in a time of death, that part of reality is like that. Not understanding that the projection of your reality is coming from yourself, but rather perceived as a secondary, perceived as secondary vision, or image, or project. So therefore, there’s immense suffering. In a time of dream, of course, we can wake up. in a time of bardo, there’s no waking up. So that reality, and illusion of that reality, becomes your new normal. Therefore, it is a suffering.

བྱས་ནས་ཕྱི་བཤོལ་དུ་འཇོག་པའི་ཐབས་རང་འདུག་གམ་སྙམ་དུ་བསམ། དེ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་གཞུག་བསྡམས་ཏེ། ད་ལྟ་རང་ཆོས་གཤའ་མ་ཞིག་བྱེད་སྙམ་པའི་གོ་ཆ་ཡོད་པ་བཞིན་ཆོས་ཀྱི་མགོ་ཐོན་གཞུགས་འཁྱོངས་ནས། རང་ཡང་དགའ་བཞིན་དུ་ཚེའི་དུས་བྱེད༑ གཞན་ཀུན་གྱིས་ཀྱང་ཁོ་ལ་ཆོས་གཤའ་མ་ཞིག་བྱུང་ཟེར་ནས་སྨོན་བཞིན་དུ་ཚེའི་དུས་བྱེད་པ་གཅིག་ལ་གཏད་སོ་འཚོལ་དགོས། དེ་ལ་ཆོས་བསྒོམ་དགོས་བརྟན་པ་ཐོབ་དགོས། གོམས་དགོས་ལྷོངས་སུ་གྱུར་དགོས་པ་འདུག་བརྟན་པ་ནི་མ་ཐོབ། གལ་ཏེ་ན་རྐྱེན་ངན་དང་འཕྲད། རང་གི་བློ་ལས་སུ་མ་རུང་། ཆོས་ཀྱི་གཞུག་མ་འཁྱོངས། ཆོས་དང་འགལ། རང་ཡང་འགྱོད། གཞན་ཀུན་གྱིས་ཀྱང་སྨད་ར་དིར་རེ་འཆི་བ་ཞིག་ཡོང་ཉིད་ཡོད་ན། དེ་ལྟར་སོང་བའི་ཐབས་མི་འདུག་པས་ཆོས་གཤའ་མ་གཅིག་ལ་ད་ལྟ་རང་ཞུགས་ཏེ་མ་ཤི་བར་དུ་འཁྱོངས་པ་གཅིག་གཞན་སྨོན་ལ་རང་བདེ་བ་གཅིག་མི་བྱེད་རེ་སྙམ་དུ་ཞེ་མནའ་ཡང་ཡང་བསྐྱལ། དེང་སང་གི་ཆོས་པ་ཀུན་ལ་གཉེན་པོ་འདི་ཁ་གནད་དུ་ཆེ། དེས་མི་རྟག་པའི་ཁྲིད་ཚར་བ་ལགས། དམིགས་སྐོར་བརྒྱད་པའོ།།

So just basically reminding yourself of the impermanence.

མི་རྟག་པ་ means impermanence. Reminding yourself the meaning of impermanence is the greatest protection for yourself as a practitioner. The reason why it is a good protection is because this is a solution for your ego. That’s long story short. Impermanence is a solution for your ego. That’s the summary.

The more egoist you have, the more denial you have toward the existence of impermanence. The more impermanence understanding you have, the more acceptance there is. The more acceptance there is, and then the more profound understanding about the reality will come. Then on top of that understanding, when you do yoga practice, when you do your deity practice, it becomes really beautiful.

Because your mind and your spirit is not holding it back. You’re just seeing as it is.

Okay, so that’s the teachings of the impermanence. So, I will continue a little bit more, okay? Then we do the question and answer.


Kalu Rinpoche
Teaching on Stages in the Path of Illusion, Lesson 4, Part 2
3rd Dec. 2021